11.6 million for High Tech Factory
Maria van der Hoeven, the Minister of Economic Affairs, visited the University of Twente on 13 July to hand over a cheque worth €7.6 million for the High Tech Factory. The High Tech Factory is a shared production facility for new businesses, which is being developed as part of the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology. This brings the total amount of new funding for the production facility to €11.6 million – the province of Overijssel and the region of Twente have also committed themselves to providing a further €4 million. The High Tech Factory forms part of Kennispark Twente and Innovatieroute Twente.
Ms van der Hoeven presented the money in the symbolic form of a cheque worth €7.6 million, which she gave to Miriam Luizink, Director of the High Tech Factory and Business Director of MESA+. The High Tech Factory provides shared production facilities for new businesses in the microtechnology and nanotechnology sectors. The factory had already acquired funding of €4.4 million from the Ministry of Economic Affairs programme “Pieken in de Delta”, and €2.2 million from the province of Overijssel. The Ministry of Economic Affairs is now making another €7.6 million available on the condition that the province of Overijssel and the region of Twente together commit themselves to providing a further €4 million. The total amount of extra funding available for the shared production facility will thus total €11.6 million.
The businesses which will be sharing these productions facilities will be able to make use of a ‘cleanroom’ – an extremely clean production environment – which they need to make their products. For a new business on its own, building a cleanroom would represent an enormous investment, so being able to share this production environment is a significant benefit for these businesses. It is now possible to realize this shared production environment because the laboratory currently being used by the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology of the University of Twente will soon be vacated. Now that the University of Twente is building a new NanoLab, the existing research laboratory can be converted relatively simply into a production environment which will enable businesses to grow. Large-scale production will also become possible at a later date, including the testing, packaging and assembly of components.